Adidas Takes 3D Printing to a New Level With 4DFWD

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Adidas has taken 3D midsole printing to a new level.

The German athletic powerhouse revealed Adidas 4DFWD today, a fresh 3D midsole printing innovation the company said was made to offer runners with a new running experience.

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Adidas explained that it has developed its 4D lattice midsole technology with Carbon for more than four years, using athlete data and Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis technology to create 3D printed midsoles. Because of this, Adidas said it was able to create its new 4DFWD lattice midsole.

According to the brand, the 4DFWD midsole is identified from one of five million possible lattice structures, made of 39% bio-based material and features a bowtie-shaped Fwd Cell that has been coded to compress forward upon vertical impact. Adidas said that 4DFWD generated three times the forward motion under vertical loading mechanical testing conditions compared to prior 4D midsole generations, resulting in the reduction of peak braking force by an average of 15%. This, the company said, allows for running economy comparable to that of Ultraboost midsoles in the lab conditions.

“4D technology provides us with the opportunity to design in a way that conventional foam midsoles do not allow. We took inspiration from the first generation 4D lattice midsole and set ourselves the challenge to take it to the next level, coding millions of potential lattice structures to see if we could specifically design to counter negative mechanical forces experienced during running,” Adidas Running VP of design Sam Handy said in a statement. “Working closely with Carbon, our product teams, and testers we identified one perfect lattice midsole that is designed to compress forwards under loading and counter mechanical forces whilst delivering a unique gliding sensation for our runners.”

The first use of the tech will come in the form of the Adidas 4DFWD running shoe, which will also feature lightweight Primeknit+ uppers made partially with recycled polyester that offers a seamless sock-like fit, and rubber outsole created with top-tier traction in mind and made to work with the 4DFWD midsole.

The first Adidas 4DFWD to drop is a core black and solar red colorway, which will be available in the Adidas app. For a shot at buying the shoe, customers must sign up from today to May 16.

After the first release, Adidas will deliver a special Tokyo collection sneaker — the podium shoe for athletes in Tokyo this summer — on July 1, with a worldwide drop slated for Aug. 12. Adidas said there will also be a third colorway of the look to hit retail.

The Adidas 4DFWD running shoe will retail for $200.

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